Celtic Lands

Celtic Lands

Featuring Guest Speakers
Dwight David Eisenhower II, accompanying you to the Normandy Beaches, and
Allen Packwood, Director of Churchill Archives Centre at Cambridge

Cruise for eight nights aboard the Five-Star small ship LE BORÉAL from Scotland to Wales, Ireland and France. Meet Dwight David Eisenhower II and Allen Packwood, who will provide exclusive lectures and personal insights. Enjoy guided excursions in each port of call, including the beaches of Normandy. Edinburgh and Glasgow pre-cruise and Paris post-cruise options are available.

Trip Itinerary:

May 30 Depart the U.S.

May 31 Glasgow, Scotland

On arrival, embark the Five-Star LE BORÉAL. Enjoy dinner on board the ship Friday evening. (D)

June 1 Oban/Scottish Highlands

The resplendent beauty of the legendary Scottish Highlands is unparalleled in its rich and rugged scenery, which has inspired countless folktales and storytellers with its magnetic and mysterious pull. Enjoy a full day’s journey, beginning in bucolic Glenfinnan.

This afternoon, enjoy a picturesque drive to majestic Glencoe, considered Scotland’s most scenic glen, much of which is preserved by the National Trust for Scotland, before returning to the ship. This evening, attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner.

View the Glenfinnan Viaduct, immortalized by the Hogwarts™ Express in the Harry Potter film series, and see the Glenfinnan Monument, commemorating the Jacobite Highlanders that Bonnie Prince Charlie rallied against King George II in 1745. Stop along the Caledonian Canal at Neptune’s Staircase—the longest staircase lock in Britain. (B,L,R,D)

June 2 Isle of Iona, Scotland/Isle of Mull/Tobermory

Ferry across the Sound of Iona to the neighboring Isle of Mull, where brightly painted houses are nestled between the hills and the harbor of Tobermory. Visit 13th‑century Duart Castle, the ancestral home of the Clan Maclean, and enjoy lunch at the castle.

Go ashore at the Hebridean Isle of Iona, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. In A.D. 563, the Irish monk Columba founded a monastery here, where scribes would spend their entire lives painstakingly copying and illuminating religious tracts and transcribing ancient Celtic sagas. Iona became the burial place of Scotland’s kings, including Duncan and Macbeth. Stroll through the serene, restored abbey and see the churchyard’s intricate Celtic crosses.

Join Allen Packwood on board on the ship later as he discusses the complexity of the D‑Day operations and Sir Winston Churchill’s role in its undertaking. (B,L,D)

June 3 Holyhead, Wales, for Caernarfon Castle

From Holyhead, transfer across the diminutive Isle of Anglesey and over the Menai Strait to North Wales, cradle of Celtic culture, where Welsh remains the mother tongue.

Visit beautiful Bodnant Garden, one of the finest examples of 19th-century Victorian landscape artistry. Stop in the charming seaside resort town of Llandudno for lunch, followed by a stirring private choir performance of Welsh hymns. Experience the grandeur of the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Caernarfon Castle, an impenetrable 13th-century fortress built by Edward I of England as a defense against the marauding Welsh. Following the tradition of seven centuries of monarchs, Queen Elizabeth II invested the future heir to the British throne, her son Charles, as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon in 1969.

Enjoy views of the beautiful, glacier-sculpted peaks and valleys of the Snowdonia Mountains during your return to the ship. (B,L,D)

June 4 Dublin, Ireland

Built astride the River Liffey, Ireland’s historic capital has retained its rich heritage of Georgian architecture. The panoramic tour of the city highlights the landmark St. Patrick’s and Christ Church Cathedrals and grand O’Connell Street, lined with bronze and marble statues of Irish statesmen. Stroll through the stately quadrangles of Trinity College and view the incandescent illuminations of the ninth-century Book of Kells. The afternoon is at leisure to walk along colorful Grafton Street, savor a pint of Guinness in a neighborhood pub or visit the National Gallery of Ireland, one of the best repositories of Celtic treasures in the world.

On board the ship this evening, enjoy specially arranged, traditional Irish music and dance performed by a local band. (B,L,D)

June 5 Tresco, Scilly Isles, England

Visit the lush, 19th‑century Tresco Abbey Gardens, weather permitting. Blooming with more than 6000 exotic plant species ranging in origin from Brazil to New Zealand, and built around the ruins of a Benedictine Abbey, this subtropical landscape is often compared to London’s Royal Botanic Garden as a “perennial Kew without the glass.” Meander among spires of indigo viper’s bugloss, broad‑leafed tree ferns, flourishing aloes and bright pink South African suikerbos in this surprising, magical haven. (B,L,D)

June 6 Cherbourg, France, for Utah Beach and Sainte‑Mére‑Èglise/Caen

From Cherbourg, drive to Sainte‑Mére‑Èglise, the first French village to be liberated by American forces during World War II and known for its great historical significance, including the famous story of American soldier John Steele, who caught his parachute on the church steeple and was forced to dangle limply for two hours before being taken as a German prisoner. See Milestone 0, which marks the Road to Freedom’s commencement.

Continue to the Church of Angoville‑au‑Plain, an emergency aid station during D‑Day, and view its modern stained‑glass rendition of the American Airborne parachute drop; here, two brave U.S. Army medics treated wounded soldiers, using pews as makeshift beds. Nearby, visit Utah Beach, the westernmost shore of the five landing areas of the Normandy invasion, and the Utah Beach D‑Day Museum for a chronological account of the landing retold through an immersive curation of artifacts, vehicles and oral histories.

After lunch, visit Pointe du Hoc to envision the heroic U.S. Army Second Ranger Battalion scaling this cliff promontory, and survey the serene English Channel.

This evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception and overnight in Caen on board the ship. (B,L,R,D)

June 7 Caen for Arromanches and Omaha Beach

Travel to Arromanches and view a wraparound short film documenting the D‑Day campaign at the Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema or Bayeux Tapestry, medieval embroidery depicting more than 70 scenes epitomizing the Norman conquest of England in 1066.

After lunch, continue to Omaha Beach, where Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944, and walk the historic Normandy shores. Then, in the company of Professor Eisenhower, contemplate the solemn commemorative crosses and Stars of David in the American Military Cemetery at Colleville‑sur‑Mer. (B,L,D)

June 8 Honfleur/Disembark ship/Paris/Return to U.S.

Disembark in Honfleur and continue on the Paris Post‑Cruise Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B)

Map:


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